Equality Academy Newsletter Spring 2012

Premier league clubs show homophobia and transphobia the red card

All 20 premier league football clubs have signed up to the Government’s sports charter to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport. There are currently no gay professional players in the UK who are prepared to be “out” in public. In signing the voluntary charter launched by the Home Office, the clubs have pledged to challenge discrimination and work to rid football of homophobic and transphobic abuse both in the stands and on the field. At the Equality Academy we have launched our Fairplay in Football programme to support clubs to deal effectively with homophobia, racism and sexism.

Revised Equality Frameworks – Local Government and Social Housing

The Local Government Association has just launched its revised Frameworks to ensure that councils and other public bodies meet their equalities obligations as well as delivering appropriate levels of service for local people. These documents are key for all local government and all social housing providers. NB for support working with the frameworks please contact us.

New Ofsted Guidelines – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) pupils

Schools can only get a ‘good’ rating if they address the needs of LGBT pupils & tackle homophobic bullying. For the full document go to the LGBT equality page http://bit.ly/A8IVSZ Also see the Safer Schools programme (which addresses the issues highlighted by Ofsted) facilitated by Equality Academy consultant, Sue Sanders, also co-chair of Schools Out! and LBGT History month.

BAME Unemployment

In the past year, just 29% of jobseekers from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background were offered a job when going through recruitment agencies, compared with 44% of white candidates – research from Race for Opportunity (RfO). This is despite BAME candidates being on average much more qualified than their white counterparts: RfO has developed three Best Practice Recruitment Tips factsheets. Also the Labour Force Survey reveal that unemployment among young black people (aged 16- 24) is 44% – over twice the rate of their white counterparts, of whom 20% are jobless.

Inequalities and multiple discrimination in health care

Fundamental Rights Agency factsheet on inequalities and multiple discrimination in health care identifies barriers, including discrimination, preventing access to healthcare services for more excluded groups; maps policies in EU Member States to improve health services for these groups; and outlines ways health professionals can address the their needs.

Public Body? Do you comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)?

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has begun to monitor the information published by public bodies to show that they are complying with the Equality Act 2010. The Commission will review authorities’ websites to assess to what extent they have demonstrated their compliance and whether they are on schedule to publish equality objectives by the end of April.

The EHRC has revised a number of its guidance documents for public authorities. These are designed to help them meet the requirements of the PSED. The guidance includes:

The Equality Academy offers Equality Act & PSED and Equality Analysis with Engagement workshops. Recent Court rulings have shown that it is insufficient to carry out Equality Analysis without proper consultation with protected groups that may be affected by changes (see selection of rulings at the end of this Newsletter)

Record number of women in UK boardrooms

The number of women directors in British boardrooms has reached its highest ever level, almost a year after the government demanded action on the gender inequality at the top of British business. Research by the Professional Boards Forum found that 14.9% of UK directors at Britain’s 100 largest public companies are women, up from 12.5% in 2010. Nearly 100 more women were appointed to the boards of FTSE 100 and 250-listed firms in the last year. 15 companies have now reached the government’s goal of 25% women directors still below Lord Davies’s target of 33%. And 9.2% of directors on FTSE 250 firms are women, up from 7.8% in 2010.

Report on the impact of cuts on services to prevent violence against women

The report by Gender Research at Lancaster University finds that substantial reductions in national budgets are leading to cuts in local services set up to protect and prevent violence against women and girls. These cuts in service provision are expected to lead to increases in this violence.

Job sharing seen as critical for retaining senior women

The ability to offer a reduced-hours working week is a critical factor for the retention and progression of women, according to new research from Working Families. Some 87% of those surveyed said that having the ability to job share meant the difference between staying with a company, or leaving. Moreover, 61% of senior women surveyed said they would like the opportunity to job share. Click here for Flexible Working Workshops offered by the Equality Academy.

The future ageing of Britain’s BAME population

Also BAME carers, plus more – read the Runnymead Trusts Bulletin. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has also published two reports recently looking at ageing from the points of view of Gypsy and South Asian Families.

The Impact of Mental Health Stigma

A survey conducted by mental health charity Time to Change reveals that stigma and discrimination due to mental illness had been experienced by 80% of its respondents Almost two-thirds (60%) said that the stigma they faced is as bad, or worse, than the symptoms of the mental illness itself; and half (49%) said that the stigma prevented them from looking for or returning to work.

Guide to support for mental health at work

Employers need to be more proactive in managing poor mental health to protect productivity, according to CIPD research. Its survey found that one in four workers had experienced a mental health problem while in employment but only 37% believed that their employer supports employees with mental health problems well.

Advancing transgender equality – a plan for action

This Government plan lays out a vision and focus on equality for transgender people. Lynne Featherstone MP says ‘we will be working with schools, businesses and communities so that together, we can drive change and help consign transphobia to the past.’

New approaches to supporting carers’ health and wellbeing

Supporting carers through carer’s breaks, health checks and NHS services can result in cost savings for the health and social care sector while helping carers to sustain their caring role, improve their health and help them to return to or remain in paid work, finds an independent evaluation of the National Carers’ Strategy.

Recent Twitter Bites @EqualityAcademy:

British women’s freedoms have gone into reverse as women pay the heaviest price for govt policies – Poly Toynbee http://bit.ly/xjEbXw

PM to tackle ‘barriers to mixed-race adoption .. shocking black children take 2x as long as white children 2 b adopted’ http://bbc.in/xWA2FY

Remploy proposes to close 36 factories which could mean compulsory redundancies of more than 1,700 disabled workers http://bbc.in/woNpU1

Women’s rights, needs and status centre stage of politics as cuts impacting disproportionately read Anna Bird @Fawcett http://bit.ly/yjcMrE Progress!

Women 22 to 29 earned 3.6% more than men of the same age in 2011. Nb. Av age for 1st baby in UK is 29 ONS

International Women’s Day 8th March – Gender pay gap average (mean) for full time workers is still 14.9% (2011) but reducing – very slowly

Man Utd striker Federico Macheda fined £15,000 by the Football Association for making homophobic comments on Twitter http://bbc.in/wRuAxh

Rep into elderly care neglect lack of compassion funding eg from own ASCare training 1 incontnc pad pppn 12hrs std care http://bit.ly/yF39at

Homophobic? Cardinal O’Brien Catholic Ch of Scotland, says Gay marriage is a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”!!

Judicial Reviews: Local Government Decisions Recently Overturned

Selection of recent Legal Cases:

Third-Party Harassment – Employers are you aware? After the continual taunting of an Iranian employee by a resident in a children’s care home in which he worked, took absence through ill health. He alleged the employer had not done enough to protect him from the resident’s behaviour – ridiculing his accent and telling him she wanted to blow-up Asians. The Employment Appeal Tribunal said the employer was legally liable for harassment of its employee.

Double Rooms – direct discrimination An Employment Tribunal (ET) Appeal held that a hotel which, on religious grounds limited the occupancy of rooms with a double bed to married couples, directly discriminated against a same-sex couple who were refused a double room. As marriage is only possible for heterosexual couples, there was no way in which the samesex couple could comply with the requirement. Bull & Bull v Hall & Preddy

Vegetarianism can be a belief under Equality Act 2010 An ET holds that beliefs about the relationship between human beings and animals, which include a commitment to vegetarianism and sympathy for Buddhism, fall within the religion or belief discrimination legislation. Case no.2513832/10 Alexander v Farmtastic Valley Ltd

Requirement to work Sundays was not religious discrimination An employee who refused to work on Sundays as he is a Jehovah’s Witness was not discriminated against on religious grounds, in circumstances where all staff were on a rota and Sunday working required, and was shared out equally. Patrick v IH Sterile Services Ltd [2012]

Highest discrimination award yet An NHS trust and others found liable for sex and race discrimination in carrying out a campaign to get rid of a consultant physician, were fined £4,452,206. At secret meetings references were made to the consultant’s Polish origins and “cultural issues”, others consultants were given “happy pay” plus many other factors. Michalak v The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust ET Case No: 1810815/2008

NHS Race Discrimination. An ET awarded nearly £1 million for unlawful race discrimination Partly it included statistics that showed black employees were much more likely to be dismissed than white employees. The NHS, and other large public bodies need to not just collate statistics on ethnicity (and other protected characteristics) but need to take action on the results. Browne v Central Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust